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Biometrics refers to the use of certain methods for the identification of humans based on unique physical or behavioral characteristics. In the past, biometrics were mainly used for security reasons, but as computer interface becomes more life-like, biometrics becomes more relevant in a wider scope of application. It enables computers to have the ability to identify an individual by evaluating unique features such as iris, face, signature, and fingerprint, as well as behavioral traits such as gait, typing rhythm, and voice.

Biometrics provides better security than the use of passwords and PIN, because it requires a person to be physically present when the process of identification is being made. Also, it is a more convenient method of identification because it eliminates the need of having to remember passwords or using a token. Biometrics can be used to identify one individual in a crowd of people and verify an individual’s identity. When it is applied as a tool to identify individuals, it captures the raw biometrics of a person with the use of a sensing device such as a video camera or a fingerprint scanner. Then, the unique characteristics of the person will be recorded as a biometric sample, which will in turn be stored for future identification.

Not every human trait is suitable for biometrics application. A trait can only be used for biometrics if it is universal, unique, permanent, collectable, reducible, tamper-resistant asset tags, digital comparable, and inimitable. Some of the human traits that meet these requirements are facial features, fingerprints, palm prints, hand geometry, iris, retina, voice, vein patterns, ear shape, odor, signature, and DNA.

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